Africa Chief Economist’s Office Publications and Working Papers

The Impact of Agricultural Extension Services on Women Farmers’ Access, Adoption and Productivity: Evidence from Ethiopia

Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Ezequiel Molina, and Julia Vaillant, Agricultural Economics, June 2019, Pages 1-13.

This paper evaluates the effect of the Rural Capacity Building Project, which aimed at promoting growth by strengthening the agricultural service systems in Ethiopia and by making them more responsive to smallholders’ needs.

Formalization Without Certification? Experimental Evidence on Property Rights and Investment

Journal Article by Markus Goldstein, Kenneth Houngbedji, Florence Kondylis, Michael O’Sullivan, Harris Selod, Journal of Development Economics, 2017

This study finds that improved tenure security from program demarcation activities leads households to shift their investment decisions from subsistence crops to long-term and perennial cash crops. Moreover, as initial lower levels of tenure security amplify the impact of a marginal change in land rights, female-headed households respond to demarcation by closing the gender gap in fallowing, a key soil fertility investment.

The Impact of Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services: Evidence from Ethiopia

Policy Research Working Paper 8169 by Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Ezequiel Molina, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, August 2017

The paper examines the impact of the Rural Capacity Building Project using panel data on 1,485 geographically dispersed households in project and control kebeles. The results show that the strengthening of extension services had a positive impact on economic participation in the household, land area cultivated, and adoption of marketable crops, suggesting that access to extension helped farmers switch to more commercial, market-oriented agriculture.

Soft skills for Hard Constraints: Evidence from High-Achieving Female Farmers

Policy Research Working Paper 8095 by Joao Montalvao, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein,Talip Kilic, World Bank Group, June 2017

This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. The analysis finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.

Formalization Without Certification? Experimental Evidence on Property Rights and Investment

Markus Goldstein, Kenneth Houngbedji, Florence Kondylis, Michael O’Sullivan, Harris Selod, Journal of Development Economics, 2017

This study finds that improved tenure security from program demarcation activities leads households to shift their investment decisions from subsistence crops to long-term and perennial cash crops. Moreover, as initial lower levels of tenure security amplify the impact of a marginal change in land rights, female-headed households respond to demarcation by closing the gender gap in fallowing, a key soil fertility investment.

Gender and Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8250 by Michael O’Sullivan, World Bank Group, November 2017

Strengthening women’s ownership, control, and use of land, livestock, and savings assets matters for poverty and shared prosperity, as unequal property rights can lead to intrahousehold inequality in wealth. This paper examines the underlying constraints that potentially give rise to these inequalities, assesses the impact evaluation evidence on how to narrow existing gaps and boost welfare, and outlines a set of priority research and policy questions.

The Impact of Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services: Evidence from Ethiopia

Policy Research Working Paper 8169 by Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Ezequiel Molina, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, August 2017

The paper examines the impact of the Rural Capacity Building Project using panel data on 1,485 geographically dispersed households in project and control kebeles. The results show that the strengthening of extension services had a positive impact on economic participation in the household, land area cultivated, and adoption of marketable crops, suggesting that access to extension helped farmers switch to more commercial, market-oriented agriculture.

Soft skills for Hard Constraints: Evidence from High-Achieving Female Farmers

Policy Research Working Paper 8095 by Joao Montalvao, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein,Talip Kilic, World Bank Group, June 2017

This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. The analysis finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.

Education

Entrepreneurship Education and Teacher Training in Rwanda

Moussa P. Blimpo, Journal of Development Economics (Stage 1 Registered Report), 2019.

In Rwanda, schools may be failing to develop the skills required to enter formal sector jobs or grow small firms. This study measures the impact of two years of intensive teacher training and support on teacher pedagogy, student skills, and student economic outcomes. Results will contribute to knowledge on supporting pedagogical change in a setting where such changes could generate relatively large economic returns for students.

Financial Constraints and Girls’ Secondary Education: Evidence from School Fee Elimination in The Gambia

Moussa P. Blimpo, The World Bank Economic Review, Volume 33, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages 185208.

Financial constraints remain serious barriers to post-primary education, and that efforts to expand access to secondary education need not come at the expense of learning in low-income countries like The Gambia.

What We Learn about Girls’ Education from Interventions that Don’t Focus on Girls

David K. Evans and Fei Yuan; Center for Global Development Working Paper, March 2019.

This study finds that to improve both access and learning, girl-targeted interventions deliver no advantage over general interventions in terms of benefits for girls. Many of the most effective interventions to improve access for girls are household-based, and many of the most effective interventions to improve learning for girls involve improving the pedagogy of teachers.

Improving Access and Quality in Early Childhood Development Programs: Experimental Evidence from the Gambia

Moussa P. Blimpo, Pedro Carneiro, Pamela Jervis, Todd Pugatch, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, February 2019.

This paper studies two experiments of early childhood development programs in The Gambia: one increasing access to services, and another improving service quality. Comparisons of observationally similar children across experiments reveal that existing early childhood development centers increased language skills by 0.4 standard deviation relative to the community-based alternative, reflecting differences in program quality.

Equivalent Years of Schooling: A Metric to Communicate Learning Gains in Concrete Terms

David K. Evans, Fei Yuan, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, February 2019.

This paper proposes two approaches to demonstrate the effectiveness of learning interventions, one in “equivalent years of schooling” and another in the net present value of potential increased lifetime earnings. In a sample of low- and middle-income countries, one standard deviation gain in literacy skill is associated with between 4.7 and 6.8 additional years of schooling, depending on the estimation method. Even modest gains in standard deviations of learning may have sizeable impacts on individual earnings and poverty reduction.

Teacher Professional Development around the World: The Gap between Evidence and Practice

David Evans, Anna Popova, Mary E. Breeding, Violeta Arancibia, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, August 2018.

This paper findings taken together suggest that at-scale programs often lack key characteristics of top-performing training programs. At-scale programs are much less likely to be linked to career incentives, to provide storybooks or other reading materials, to have a subject content focus, to include time for practicing with other teachers, or to include follow-up visits.

Is Personal Initiative Training a Substitute or Complement to the Existing Human Capital of Women? Results from a Randomized Trial in Togo

Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, and Mona Mensmann, AEA Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 108, May 2018 (pp. 256-61).

Personal initiative training�a psychology-based mindset training program�delivers lasting improvements for female business owners in Togo. Which types of women benefit most? Theories of dynamic complementarity would suggest training should work better for those with higher pre-existing human capital. The evidence suggests that this new business training approach can work for a wide range of human capital levels.

School Costs, Short-run Participation, and Long-run Outcomes: Evidence from Kenya

David Evans, Irene Muthoni Ngatia. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018.

Access to school has risen dramatically in recent decades, with large gains from reducing costs. Few studies report long-term impacts, however. This paper reports the impact of an educational intervention that reduced out-of-pocket schooling costs for children in poor communities in Kenya by providing school uniforms. Providing school uniforms in Kenya increases student attendance in the short run but didn’t yield educational gains in the long run.

Energy & Extractives

Lessons from Power Sector Reform Experiences: The Case of Morocco

Zainab Usman and Tayeb Amegroud, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, WPS8969, August 2019.

Morocco charted its own distinctive path of power sector reform. It selectively introduced private sector participation for generation capacity expansion and electricity distribution, while retaining a strong, state-owned and vertically-integrated national power utility operating as a single buyer at the core of the sector. Ambitious targets for electricity access, liberalization, and renewable energy investments were conceived as an integrated approach to contribute to economic development by relieving fiscal pressures, reducing external dependence on fossil fuels, and positioning the country as a regional leader in renewable energy. The results have been impressive, although vulnerabilities remain in the system.

Why are Connection Charges so High? An Analysis of the Electricity Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa

Moussa Pouguinimpo Blimpo,Shaun David Mcrae,Jevgenijs Steinbuks, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, low electricity tariffs result in utilities losing money on each customer connection. Low electricity use makes it hard to recoup costs. Future advances in electrification will require higher incomes, increased coverage of the distribution network, and lower connection costs.

Electricity Provision and Tax Mobilization in Africa

Moussa Pouguinimpo Blimpo, Shaun David Mcrae, Jevgenijs Steinbuks. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018.

This paper provides evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure, such as reliable electricity, can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Financial returns associated with public investments toward improving access to and reliability of electricity are substantial and could be harnessed to augment the financing gap in the sector.

The ‘Resource Curse’ And the Constraints on Reforming Nigeria’s Oil Sector

Book Chapter by Zainab Usman, The Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics, Oxford University Press, 2018.

This chapter has examined the dysfunctions of Nigeria’s oil sector, especially the stagnation and decline of oil production, revenue leakages, and the oil sector’s impact on the non-oil economy. In this process, it shows how the resource curse thesis provides an inadequate and partial explanation.

The Carbon Wealth of Nations: From Rents to Risks

Report Chapter by James Cust with David Manley, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

The wealth accounts in the Changing Wealth of Nations show there are 26 countries that have at least 5 percent of their total assets in the form of fossil fuels. If much of this must remain below ground, these countries may see their total assets decline significantly in value, including above ground assets such as carbon-linked produced and human capital.

The Role of Governance and International Norms in Managing Natural Resources

Working paper 2017/203 by James Cust, UNU-WIDER, December 2017

A variety of international initiatives have emerged seeking to support those striving for better governance in their countries. The paper provides a review of initiatives targeting governments as the key agents of change and offers some critical reflections on challenges faced and potential ways forward to build on the lessons and achievements of the past decade and a half.

Local Communities Can Reap Better Benefits from Mining if Market and Fiscal Channels are Strong

Journal Article by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen, GREAT Insights, July/August 2017

Evidence from the boom in large-scale gold mining in three countries in Africa suggests that mining communities experience on average positive, but limited welfare gains in the near term. The benefits that come from opening a mine (or mines) are mostly transmitted through the normal functioning of markets, primarily through labor and land.

Evidence for a Presource Curse? Oil Discoveries, Elevated Expectations, and Growth Disappointments

Policy Research Working Paper 8140 by James Cust with David Mihalyi, World Bank Group, July 2017

Based on research into the effect of oil discoveries on growth, we find that major oil discoveries trigger raised expectations about growth – in the form of increased IMF WEO growth forecasts. Meanwhile the actual growth path can prove disappointing- undershooting forecasts on average- and even coming in lower than pre-discovery growth in some cases. This is all before production or exports have chance to start.

Local Communities Can Reap Better Benefits from Mining if Market and Fiscal Channels are Strong

Journal Article by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen, GREAT Insights, July/August 2017

Evidence from the boom in large-scale gold mining in three countries in Africa suggests that mining communities experience on average positive, but limited welfare gains in the near term. The benefits that come from opening a mine (or mines) are mostly transmitted through the normal functioning of markets, primarily through labor and land.

Mining in Africa: Are Local Communities Better Off?

Report by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen and Christopher Land, Africa Development Forum Series, 2017

This study focuses on the local and regional impact of large-scale gold mining in Africa in the context of a mineral boom in the region since 2000. It contributes to filling a gap in the literature on the welfare effects of mineral resources, which, until now, has concentrated more on the national or macroeconomic impacts.

Evidence for a Presource Curse? Oil Discoveries, Elevated Expectations, and Growth Disappointments

Policy Research Working Paper 8140 by James Cust with David Mihalyi, World Bank Group, July 2017

Based on research into the effect of oil discoveries on growth, we find that major oil discoveries trigger raised expectations about growth – in the form of increased IMF WEO growth forecasts. Meanwhile the actual growth path can prove disappointing- undershooting forecasts on average- and even coming in lower than pre-discovery growth in some cases. This is all before production or exports have chance to start.

Environment & Natural Resources

The Carbon Wealth of Nations: From Rents to Risks

Report Chapter by James Cust with David Manley, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

The wealth accounts in the Changing Wealth of Nations show there are 26 countries that have at least 5 percent of their total assets in the form of fossil fuels. If much of this must remain below ground, these countries may see their total assets decline significantly in value, including above ground assets such as carbon-linked produced and human capital.

Evidence for a Presource Curse? Oil Discoveries, Elevated Expectations, and Growth Disappointments

Policy Research Working Paper 8140 by James Cust with David Mihalyi, World Bank Group, July 2017

Based on research into the effect of oil discoveries on growth, we find that major oil discoveries trigger raised expectations about growth – in the form of increased IMF WEO growth forecasts. Meanwhile the actual growth path can prove disappointing- undershooting forecasts on average- and even coming in lower than pre-discovery growth in some cases. This is all before production or exports have chance to start.

The Role of Governance and International Norms in Managing Natural Resources

Working paper 2017/203 by James Cust, UNU-WIDER, December 2017

A variety of international initiatives have emerged seeking to support those striving for better governance in their countries. The paper provides a review of initiatives targeting governments as the key agents of change and offers some critical reflections on challenges faced and potential ways forward to build on the lessons and achievements of the past decade and a half.

Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation

Full Esteem Ahead? Mindset-Oriented Business Training in Ethiopia

Salman Alibhai, Niklas Buehren, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Sreelakshmi Papineni, and Kathrin Wolf, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, June 2019.

This study evaluates the effect of mindset-oriented business trainings on the performance of women-owned micro and small enterprises in Ethiopia. It concludes that psychological skills are important for women’s business success, and these skills can indeed be transferred using training, assuming a shared identity match between trainer and student.

How Should the Government Bring Small Firms into the Formal System? Experimental Evidence from Malawi

Francisco Campos, Markus Goldstein, and David McKenzie. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, October 2018.

The study finds incredibly high demand for obtaining a formal status that is separate from tax obligations, and very low take-up of tax registration. Business registration alone has no impact on access to formal markets or firm performance. However, coupling registration assistance with the bank information session increases the use of formal financial services, and results in increases in firm sales by 20 percent and profits by 15 percent.

Does Higher Openness Cause More Real Exchange Rate Volatility

Journal Article by Cesar Calderon with Megumi Kubota, Journal of International Economics 110: 176-204, 2018

This study investigates the factors driving RER volatility and the properties of both trade and financial openness to stabilize RERs. Therefore, this paper guides the formulation of better economic policies to lower RER variability. It tests whether the extent and composition of international trade and financial integration would smooth the impact of shocks to the RER for 82 countries from 1974 to 2013 and confirms empirically that the composition of trade and financial openness matters for RER stabilization.

The Profits of Wisdom: The Impacts of a Business Support Program in Tanzania

Policy Research Working Paper 8279 by Elena Bardasi, Marine Gassier, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, December 2017

This study finds that business training programs targeting women with established small businesses in urban Tanzania have no impact of on business practices and business outcomes. However, entrepreneurs with low levels of experience show reduced revenues; those with more experience benefit from the program. This finding suggests that business training programs may have greater impacts if they are more carefully targeted

Teaching Personal Initiative Beats Traditional Business Training in Boosting Small Business in West Africa

Journal Article by Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, Science Vol 357, Issue 6357, September 2017

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training.

Exchange Rate Flexibility and the Effect of Remittances on Economic Growth

Journal Article Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, Review of Development Economics, 21(1), 103125, 2017

This paper studies the question of whether exchange rate policy affects the impact of remittances on economic growth in recipient countries. The ?ndings indicate that more ?exible exchange rate regimes are associated with a greater increase in economic growth following an increase in remittances, but also that the impact of remittances on growth is positive under a ?xed regime.

FDI, Sectoral Output and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics Under Financial Openness

Journal Article by Emmanuel K.K. Lartey, Bulletin of Economic Research 69:4, 384-394, 2017

Based on data for a group of developing countries, the findings of this study suggest that an increase in FDI inflow could result in an expansion of the nontradable sector, which would be associated with a greater appreciation of the real exchange rate under a higher level of financial openness.

Teaching Personal Initiative Beats Traditional Business Training in Boosting Small Business in West Africa

Journal Article by Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, Science Vol 357, Issue 6357, September 2017

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training.

Exchange Rate Flexibility and the Effect of Remittances on Economic Growth

Journal Article Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, Review of Development Economics, 21(1), 103125, 2017

This paper studies the question of whether exchange rate policy affects the impact of remittances on economic growth in recipient countries. The ?ndings indicate that more ?exible exchange rate regimes are associated with a greater increase in economic growth following an increase in remittances, but also that the impact of remittances on growth is positive under a ?xed regime.

FDI, Sectoral Output and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics Under Financial Openness

Journal Article by Emmanuel K.K. Lartey, Bulletin of Economic Research 69:4, 384-394, 2017

Based on data for a group of developing countries, the findings of this study suggest that an increase in FDI inflow could result in an expansion of the nontradable sector, which would be associated with a greater appreciation of the real exchange rate under a higher level of financial openness.

Does Higher Openness Cause More Real Exchange Rate Volatility

Journal Article by Cesar Calderon with Megumi Kubota, Journal of International Economics 110: 176-204, 2018

This study investigates the factors driving RER volatility and the properties of both trade and financial openness to stabilize RERs. Therefore, this paper guides the formulation of better economic policies to lower RER variability. It tests whether the extent and composition of international trade and financial integration would smooth the impact of shocks to the RER for 82 countries from 1974 to 2013 and confirms empirically that the composition of trade and financial openness matters for RER stabilization.

The Carbon Wealth of Nations: From Rents to Risks

Report Chapter by James Cust with David Manley, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

The wealth accounts in the Changing Wealth of Nations show there are 26 countries that have at least 5 percent of their total assets in the form of fossil fuels. If much of this must remain below ground, these countries may see their total assets decline significantly in value, including above ground assets such as carbon-linked produced and human capital.

Human Capital and The Wealth of Nations: Global Estimates and Trends

Report Chapter by Luis-Diego Barrot with Kirk Hamilton, Quentin Wodon, and Ali Yedan, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

This chapter provides the first-ever set of comparable estimates of human capital wealth based on a time series of household surveys for a large number of countries over two decades, from 1995 to 2014. The estimates suggest that human capital accounts for the lion’s share of a country’s wealth, and typically a higher share in upper-middle-income and high-income countries than in poorer countries.

Gender and Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8250 by Michael O’Sullivan, World Bank Group, November 2017

Strengthening women’s ownership, control, and use of land, livestock, and savings assets matters for poverty and shared prosperity, as unequal property rights can lead to intrahousehold inequality in wealth. This paper examines the underlying constraints that potentially give rise to these inequalities, assesses the impact evaluation evidence on how to narrow existing gaps and boost welfare, and outlines a set of priority research and policy questions.

The Profits of Wisdom: The Impacts of a Business Support Program in Tanzania

Policy Research Working Paper 8279 by Elena Bardasi, Marine Gassier, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, December 2017

This study finds that business training programs targeting women with established small businesses in urban Tanzania have no impact of on business practices and business outcomes. However, entrepreneurs with low levels of experience show reduced revenues; those with more experience benefit from the program. This finding suggests that business training programs may have greater impacts if they are more carefully targeted

Crossovers: Female Entrepreneurs Who Enter Male Sectors

Policy Research Working Paper 8065 by Salman Alibhai, Niklas Buehren, Sreelakshmi Papineni, Rachael Pierotti, World Bank Group, May 2017

This paper uses data from Ethiopia to compare the firm performance and characteristics of women in male-dominated sectors (crossovers) with women who are in female-concentrated sectors (noncrossovers). The findings show that female-owned enterprises in male-dominated sectors perform better on average than those in female-concentrated sectors, with firms achieving higher profits and having more employees.

Gender

The Limits of Commitment: Who Benefits from Illiquid Savings Products?

Niklas Buehren, Markus P. Goldstein, Leora Klapper, Tricia Koroknay-Palicz, Simone Gabrielle Schaner, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018.

Working with a private bank in Ghana, this study examines the impacts of a commitment savings product designed to help clients taking repeated overdrafts break their debt cycles. Overall, the product significantly increased savings with the bank without increasing overdrafts.

Tackling the Global Profitarchy: Gender and the Choice of Business Sector

Markus Goldstein, Paula Gonzalez Martinez, and Sreelakshmi Papineni, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2019.

This paper investigates the horizonal dimension of sectoral segregation by studying global data on female and male enterprises operating in sectors that are typically dominated by the same and opposite sex. It finds that some of the earnings gap can indeed be explained by sector choice: female-owned businesses in male-dominated sectors make significantly higher profits than those in traditionally female sectors.

The Economic Lives of Young Women in the Time of Ebola: Lessons from an Empowerment Program

Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Imran Rasul, and Andrea Smurra, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, February 2019.

The analysis pinpoints the mechanisms through which the severity of the aggregate shock impacts the economic lives of young women and shows how interventions in times of crisis can interlink outcomes across younger and older cohorts.

Ethiopia Gender Diagnostic Report: Priorities for Promoting Equity

Niklas Buehren, Markus P. Goldstein, Paula Lorena Gonzalez Martinez, Adiam Hagos Hailemicheal, Daniel John Kirkwood, Patricia Rose Paskov, Michelle Poulin,Chandni Raja, Andrew Martin Tarter, Gender Innovation Report, 2019.

Differences in simple averages between men and women show that women lag men by 36 percent in agricultural productivity, by 79 percent in business sales, and by 44 percent in hourly wages. This brief describes the costs of these gender gaps and estimates the potential gains from closing them.

The Economic Lives of Young Women in the Time of Ebola: Lessons from an Empowerment Program

Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Markus P. Goldstein, Imran Rasul, Andrea Smurra, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2019.

This analysis pinpoints the mechanisms through which the severity of the aggregate shock impacts the economic lives of young women and shows how interventions in times of crisis can interlink outcomes across younger and older cohorts.

Are Mobile Savings the Silver Bullet to Help Women Grow Their Businesses?

Joao Montalvao, Gautam Bastian, Iacopo Bianchi, Mayra Buvinic, Markus Goldstein, Tanvi Jaluka, James Knowles, and Firman Witoelar, Gender Innovation Lab Policy Brief, 2018.

Providing business related training which essentially relaxed supply and demand side constraints to savings that women might face, enhanced the impact of promoting mobile savings among women micro-entrepreneurs. In Tanzania, it led to substantially higher mobile savings, new businesses and products, more capital investment, labor effort, and better business practices.

Can Job Training Decrease Women’s Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental Evidence from Nigeria

Markus Goldstein and co-authors, Gender Innovation Lab Policy Brief, 2018.

There is evidence that women’s biases about their own potential can affect their performance and aspirations. Through an experiment in Nigeria, information and communications technology (ICT) training resulted in university graduates being 26 percent more likely to work in the ICT sector.

The Profits of Wisdom: The Impacts of a Business Support Program in Tanzania

Policy Research Working Paper 8279 by Elena Bardasi, Marine Gassier, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, December 2017

This study finds that business training programs targeting women with established small businesses in urban Tanzania have no impact of on business practices and business outcomes. However, entrepreneurs with low levels of experience show reduced revenues; those with more experience benefit from the program. This finding suggests that business training programs may have greater impacts if they are more carefully targeted

Teaching Personal Initiative Beats Traditional Business Training in Boosting Small Business in West Africa

Journal Article by Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, Science Vol 357, Issue 6357, September 2017

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training.

Formalization Without Certification? Experimental Evidence on Property Rights and Investment

Journal Article by Markus Goldstein, Kenneth Houngbedji, Florence Kondylis, Michael O’Sullivan, Harris Selod, Journal of Development Economics, 2017

This study finds that improved tenure security from program demarcation activities leads households to shift their investment decisions from subsistence crops to long-term and perennial cash crops. Moreover, as initial lower levels of tenure security amplify the impact of a marginal change in land rights, female-headed households respond to demarcation by closing the gender gap in fallowing, a key soil fertility investment.

The Impact of Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services: Evidence from Ethiopia

Policy Research Working Paper 8169 by Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Ezequiel Molina, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, August 2017

The paper examines the impact of the Rural Capacity Building Project using panel data on 1,485 geographically dispersed households in project and control kebeles. The results show that the strengthening of extension services had a positive impact on economic participation in the household, land area cultivated, and adoption of marketable crops, suggesting that access to extension helped farmers switch to more commercial, market-oriented agriculture.

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa

Report by Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Robin Burgess, Markus Goldstein, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaimany, World Bank Group, July 2017

This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60% of the population are aged below twenty. Results show that four years post-intervention, adolescent girls in treated communities are 48% more likely to engage in income generating activities, an impact almost entirely driven by their greater engagement in self-employment. Teen pregnancy falls by 34%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 62%.

Can Job Training Decrease Women’s Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental evidence from Nigeria

Policy Research Working Paper 8141 by Kevin Croke, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, July 2017

Occupational segregation is a central contributor to the gap between male and female earnings worldwide. The paper examines the impacts of an information and communications technology training intervention that targeted university graduates in five major cities and found that training programs can help individuals overcome self-defeating biases that could hamper mobility and reduce efficiency in the labor market.

Measuring Women’s Agency

Policy Research Working Paper 8148 by Aletheia Donald, Gayatri Koolwal, Jeannie Annan, Kathryn Falb, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, July 2017

This paper examines the measurement of agency through the lens of how women arrive at different decisions, based on their own preferences and goals, and proposes a framework for the constructs needed to measure agency. Ultimately this will provide greater understanding of when and how women have the ability to influence their own lives, and those of their families and communities, across different spheres.

Soft skills for Hard Constraints: Evidence from High-Achieving Female Farmers

Policy Research Working Paper 8095 by Joao Montalvao, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein,Talip Kilic, World Bank Group, June 2017

This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. The analysis finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.

Teaching Personal Initiative Beats Traditional Business Training in Boosting Small Business in West Africa

Journal Article by Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, Science Vol 357, Issue 6357, September 2017

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training.

Formalization Without Certification? Experimental Evidence on Property Rights and Investment

Journal Article by Markus Goldstein, Kenneth Houngbedji, Florence Kondylis, Michael O’Sullivan, Harris Selod, Journal of Development Economics, 2017

This study finds that improved tenure security from program demarcation activities leads households to shift their investment decisions from subsistence crops to long-term and perennial cash crops. Moreover, as initial lower levels of tenure security amplify the impact of a marginal change in land rights, female-headed households respond to demarcation by closing the gender gap in fallowing, a key soil fertility investment.

Women the Future of Africa

Contributions by Africa Gender Innovation Lab

The book tells the story of a new generation of women and girls who are breaking gender barriers and taking charge of their own destiny. As part of its research, the GIL is working closely with some of the women portrayed in this book to understand what has driven their success, what challenges they continue to face, and what we can do to help them overcome these obstacles.

Gender and Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8250 by Michael O’Sullivan, World Bank Group, November 2017

Strengthening women’s ownership, control, and use of land, livestock, and savings assets matters for poverty and shared prosperity, as unequal property rights can lead to intrahousehold inequality in wealth. This paper examines the underlying constraints that potentially give rise to these inequalities, assesses the impact evaluation evidence on how to narrow existing gaps and boost welfare, and outlines a set of priority research and policy questions.

Gender and Enterprise Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8239 by, Francisco Campos and Marine Gassier, World Bank Group, November 2017

Female participation in entrepreneurial activities is higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region. However, women-owned businesses significantly underperform those owned by men. This paper identifies the main constraints that women face in developing their businesses in Africa and discusses how these constraints influence strategic choices in areas such as level of investment and sector of operations.

The Value of Reference Letters

Policy Research Working Paper 8266 by Martin Abel with Rulof Burger, Patrizio Piraino

This paper shows that reference letters from former employers alleviate information asymmetries about workers’ skills and improve both match quality and equity in the labor market. A resume audit study finds that using a reference letter in the application increases callbacks by more than 60 percent, with women driving the effect.

The Profits of Wisdom: The Impacts of a Business Support Program in Tanzania

Policy Research Working Paper 8279 by Elena Bardasi, Marine Gassier, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, December 2017

This study finds that business training programs targeting women with established small businesses in urban Tanzania have no impact of on business practices and business outcomes. However, entrepreneurs with low levels of experience show reduced revenues; those with more experience benefit from the program. This finding suggests that business training programs may have greater impacts if they are more carefully targeted

Gender and Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8245 by Shubha Chakravarty, Smita Das, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, November 2017

This paper discusses the specific barriers that youth face in accessing employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the ways in which young women’s employment is constrained above and beyond the constraints faced by male youth. The paper synthesizes the emerging lessons from a growing evidence base on interventions that aim to support young women’s employment, and identifies knowledge gaps and priority research questions for the future.

The Impact of Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services: Evidence from Ethiopia

Policy Research Working Paper 8169 by Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Ezequiel Molina, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, August 2017

The paper examines the impact of the Rural Capacity Building Project using panel data on 1,485 geographically dispersed households in project and control kebeles. The results show that the strengthening of extension services had a positive impact on economic participation in the household, land area cultivated, and adoption of marketable crops, suggesting that access to extension helped farmers switch to more commercial, market-oriented agriculture.

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa

Report by Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Robin Burgess, Markus Goldstein, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaimany, World Bank Group, July 2017

This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60% of the population are aged below twenty. Results show that four years post-intervention, adolescent girls in treated communities are 48% more likely to engage in income generating activities, an impact almost entirely driven by their greater engagement in self-employment. Teen pregnancy falls by 34%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 62%.

Can Job Training Decrease Women’s Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental evidence from Nigeria

Policy Research Working Paper 8141 by Kevin Croke, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, July 2017

Occupational segregation is a central contributor to the gap between male and female earnings worldwide. The paper examines the impacts of an information and communications technology training intervention that targeted university graduates in five major cities and found that training programs can help individuals overcome self-defeating biases that could hamper mobility and reduce efficiency in the labor market.

Measuring Women’s Agency

Policy Research Working Paper 8148 by Aletheia Donald, Gayatri Koolwal, Jeannie Annan, Kathryn Falb, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, July 2017

This paper examines the measurement of agency through the lens of how women arrive at different decisions, based on their own preferences and goals, and proposes a framework for the constructs needed to measure agency. Ultimately this will provide greater understanding of when and how women have the ability to influence their own lives, and those of their families and communities, across different spheres.

Soft skills for Hard Constraints: Evidence from High-Achieving Female Farmers

Policy Research Working Paper 8095 by Joao Montalvao, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein,Talip Kilic, World Bank Group, June 2017

This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. The analysis finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.

Governance and Women’s Economic and Political Participation: Power Inequalities, Formal Constraints and Norms

Report by Annamaria Milazzo, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, June 2017

This report reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of reforms addressing gender inequality and applied via formal law changes, focusing on micro-empirical studies that tackle this challenge. The evidence suggests that some reforms have been successful reducing inequalities. Power and norms can shift and sometimes temporary interventions can deliver long-term results. There are, however, enormous challenges posed by power inequalities and inherent social norms that are slow-moving.

Crossovers: Female Entrepreneurs Who Enter Male Sectors

Policy Research Working Paper 8065 by Salman Alibhai, Niklas Buehren, Sreelakshmi Papineni, Rachael Pierotti, World Bank Group, May 2017

This paper uses data from Ethiopia to compare the firm performance and characteristics of women in male-dominated sectors (crossovers) with women who are in female-concentrated sectors (noncrossovers). The findings show that female-owned enterprises in male-dominated sectors perform better on average than those in female-concentrated sectors, with firms achieving higher profits and having more employees.

Governance, Macroeconomics, Trade And Investment

Governance and Women’s Economic and Political Participation: Power Inequalities, Formal Constraints and Norms

Annamaria Milazzo, Markus Goldstein, The World Bank Research Observer, Volume 34, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages 3464,2019.

This paper argues that, at the roots of current gender inequalities, there are traditional patriarchal social structures in which power is unequally distributed, with men traditionally holding authority over women.

Salary Delays and Overdrafts in Rural Ghana

Niklas Buehren, Virginia Ceretti, Ervin Dervisevic, Markus Goldstein, Leora Klapper, Tricia Koroknay-Palicz, Simone Schaner, AEA Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 108, May 2018 (pp. 449-52)

Checking overdrafts are an expensive yet common way for bank account holders to obtain short-term credit when faced with unexpected shocks. In developing countries, one common shock that many salaried workers face is late or erratic payment from their employer. Late salary payments in the public sector, combined with the high cost of overdrafts pose an especially severe burden to government employees in Ghana.

Governance and Women’s Economic and Political Participation: Power Inequalities, Formal Constraints and Norms

Annamaria Milazzo and Markus Goldstein, The World Bank Research Observer, Volume 34, Issue 1, February 2019, Pages 3464.

Have institutional reforms been successful in reducing persistent gender gaps in economic and political participation? This paper argues that, at the roots of current gender inequalities, there are traditional patriarchal social structures in which power is unequally distributed, with men traditionally holding authority over women.

Institutions and the Location of Oil Exploration

James Cust, Torfinn Harding, Journal of the European Economic Association, June 2019

This paper provides evidence that institutions shape both exploration companies’ incentives to invest in drilling and host countries’ supply of drilling opportunities. It finds that the supermajor international oil companies are particularly sensitive to institutional quality in developing countries.

The Role of Governance and International Norms in Managing Natural Resources

Working paper 2017/203 by James Cust, UNU-WIDER, December 2017

A variety of international initiatives have emerged seeking to support those striving for better governance in their countries. The paper provides a review of initiatives targeting governments as the key agents of change and offers some critical reflections on challenges faced and potential ways forward to build on the lessons and achievements of the past decade and a half.

Teaching Personal Initiative Beats Traditional Business Training in Boosting Small Business in West Africa

Journal Article by Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, Science Vol 357, Issue 6357, September 2017

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training.

Exchange Rate Flexibility and the Effect of Remittances on Economic Growth

Journal Article Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, Review of Development Economics, 21(1), 103125, 2017

This paper studies the question of whether exchange rate policy affects the impact of remittances on economic growth in recipient countries. The ?ndings indicate that more ?exible exchange rate regimes are associated with a greater increase in economic growth following an increase in remittances, but also that the impact of remittances on growth is positive under a ?xed regime.

FDI, Sectoral Output and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics Under Financial Openness

Journal Article by Lartey, Bulletin of Economic Research 69:4, 384-394, 2017

Based on data for a group of developing countries, the findings of this study suggest that an increase in FDI inflow could result in an expansion of the nontradable sector, which would be associated with a greater appreciation of the real exchange rate under a higher level of financial openness.

Selection, Firm Turnover, and Productivity Growth: Do Emerging Cities Speed up the Process?

Policy Research Working Paper 8291 by Albert G Zeufack with Patricia Jones and Taye Alemu Mengistae, World Bank Group, 2018

This paper identifies and estimates the impact of firm entry and exit on plant-level productivity in Ethiopia as part of a selection mechanism that might be driving aggregate productivity growth in cities.

Does Higher Openness Cause More Real Exchange Rate Volatility

Journal Article by Cesar Calderon with Megumi Kubota, Journal of International Economics 110: 176-204, 2018

This study investigates the factors driving RER volatility and the properties of both trade and financial openness to stabilize RERs. Therefore, this paper guides the formulation of better economic policies to lower RER variability. It tests whether the extent and composition of international trade and financial integration would smooth the impact of shocks to the RER for 82 countries from 1974 to 2013 and confirms empirically that the composition of trade and financial openness matters for RER stabilization.

Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Magnitude and Evolution

Policy Research Working Paper 8108 by Cesar Calderon, Punam Chuhan-Pole and Rafael M. Lopez-Monti, World Bank Group, June 2017. (Submitted to World Development)

Mirroring the pattern in other developing regions, the degree of cyclicality has changed since 2002 in Sub-Saharan Africa, with incipient signs of a shift toward acyclical or more countercyclical policies. The evidence does not suggest that resource wealth or fragility increases the procyclicality of government consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gross Capital Flows, Common Factors, and the Global Financial Cycle

Policy Research Working Paper No. 8354 by Luis-Diego Barrot with Luis Serven, World Bank Group, February 2018

This paper assesses the international comovement of gross capital inflows and outflows using a two-level factor model. Greater financial openness, deeper financial systems, and more rigid exchange rate regimes amplify countries’ exposure to the global financial cycle.

Evidence for a Presource Curse? Oil Discoveries, Elevated Expectations, and Growth Disappointments

Policy Research Working Paper 8140 by James Cust with David Mihalyi, World Bank Group, July 2017

Based on research into the effect of oil discoveries on growth, we find that major oil discoveries trigger raised expectations about growth – in the form of increased IMF WEO growth forecasts. Meanwhile the actual growth path can prove disappointing- undershooting forecasts on average- and even coming in lower than pre-discovery growth in some cases. This is all before production or exports have chance to start.

Dutch Disease Resistance: Evidence from Indonesian Firms

Research Working Paper Series Number 192 by James Cust with Torfinn Harding and Pierre-Louis Vezina, OxCarre, June 2017

Oil and gas windfalls cause wage growth but that the ?rm exit rate is unaffected. Firms’ output and labor productivity increase along with wages suggesting where ?rms are able to respond to booming local demand, and raise productivity in response to upward wage pressures, they can overcome the crowding-out effects from resource windfalls.

The Role of Governance and International Norms in Managing Natural Resources

Working paper 2017/203 by James Cust, UNU-WIDER, December 2017

A variety of international initiatives have emerged seeking to support those striving for better governance in their countries. The paper provides a review of initiatives targeting governments as the key agents of change and offers some critical reflections on challenges faced and potential ways forward to build on the lessons and achievements of the past decade and a half.

Gender and Enterprise Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8239 by, Francisco Campos and Marine Gassier, World Bank Group, November 2017

Female participation in entrepreneurial activities is higher in Sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region. However, women-owned businesses significantly underperform those owned by men. This paper identifies the main constraints that women face in developing their businesses in Africa and discusses how these constraints influence strategic choices in areas such as level of investment and sector of operations.

Gender and Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8245 by Shubha Chakravarty, Smita Das, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, November 2017

This paper discusses the specific barriers that youth face in accessing employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the ways in which young women’s employment is constrained above and beyond the constraints faced by male youth. The paper synthesizes the emerging lessons from a growing evidence base on interventions that aim to support young women’s employment, and identifies knowledge gaps and priority research questions for the future.

Governance and Women’s Economic and Political Participation: Power Inequalities, Formal Constraints and Norms

Report by Annamaria Milazzo, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, June 2017

This report reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of reforms addressing gender inequality and applied via formal law changes, focusing on micro-empirical studies that tackle this challenge. The evidence suggests that some reforms have been successful reducing inequalities. Power and norms can shift and sometimes temporary interventions can deliver long-term results. There are, however, enormous challenges posed by power inequalities and inherent social norms that are slow-moving.

Health, Nutrition & Population

Bias in Patient Satisfaction Surveys: A Threat to Measuring Healthcare Quality

Felipe Dunsch,David K Evans,Mario Macis, Qiao Wang, BMJ Glob Health, 2018.

Many patient satisfaction surveys in low and middle-income countries frame statements positively and invite patients to agree or disagree, so that positive responses may reflect either true satisfaction or bias induced by the positive framing. An experiment in Nigeria shows that this results in inflated measures of satisfaction.

Health-care quality and information failure: Evidence from Nigeria

Journal Article by David Evans with Anna Welander TA�rneberg, Health Economics, October 2017

This paper presents results from a health survey in Nigeria to investigate whether patients can evaluate health service quality effectively. Specifically, this paper demonstrates that although more than 90% of patients agree with any positive statement about the quality of their local health services, satisfaction is significantly associated with the diagnostic ability of health workers at the facility.

Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania (Working paper); (Summary blog post)

Journal Article by David Evans with Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec, World Bank Economic Review, April 2017

How do cash transfers, conditioned on health clinic visits and school attendance, impact health-related outcomes? Examining the 2010 randomized introduction of a program in Tanzania, this paper finds nuanced impacts. The study finds significant increases in take-up of health insurance and the likelihood of seeking treatment when ill.

Human Capital and The Wealth of Nations: Global Estimates and Trends

Report Chapter by Luis-Diego Barrot with Kirk Hamilton, Quentin Wodon, and Ali Yedan, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

This chapter provides the first-ever set of comparable estimates of human capital wealth based on a time series of household surveys for a large number of countries over two decades, from 1995 to 2014. The estimates suggest that human capital accounts for the lion’s share of a country’s wealth, and typically a higher share in upper-middle-income and high-income countries than in poorer countries.

Management, Supervision, and Health Care: A Field Experiment (IZA Discussion Paper 10967)

NBER Working Paper 23749 by David Evans with Felipe Dunsch, Ezinne Eze-Ajoku, and Mario Macis, August 2017

However, little is known about how to increase managerial capital to generate persistent improvements in quality of health services delivery. We present results from a randomized field experiment in 80 primary health care centers (PHCs) in Nigeria to evaluate the effects of a health care management consulting intervention.

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa

Report by Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Robin Burgess, Markus Goldstein, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaimany, World Bank Group, July 2017

This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60% of the population are aged below twenty. Results show that four years post-intervention, adolescent girls in treated communities are 48% more likely to engage in income generating activities, an impact almost entirely driven by their greater engagement in self-employment. Teen pregnancy falls by 34%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 62%.

Health-care quality and information failure: Evidence from Nigeria

Journal Article by David Evans with Anna Welander TA�rneberg, Health Economics, October 2017

This paper presents results from a health survey in Nigeria to investigate whether patients can evaluate health service quality effectively. Specifically, this paper demonstrates that although more than 90% of patients agree with any positive statement about the quality of their local health services, satisfaction is significantly associated with the diagnostic ability of health workers at the facility.

Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania (Working paper); (Summary blog post)

Journal Article by David Evans with Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec, World Bank Economic Review, April 2017

How do cash transfers, conditioned on health clinic visits and school attendance, impact health-related outcomes? Examining the 2010 randomized introduction of a program in Tanzania, this paper finds nuanced impacts. The study finds significant increases in take-up of health insurance and the likelihood of seeking treatment when ill.

The Carbon Wealth of Nations: from Rents to Risks

Report Chapter by James Cust with David Manley, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

The wealth accounts in the Changing Wealth of Nations show there are 26 countries that have at least 5 percent of their total assets in the form of fossil fuels. If much of this must remain below ground, these countries may see their total assets decline significantly in value, including above ground assets such as carbon-linked produced and human capital.

Human Capital and The Wealth of Nations: Global Estimates and Trends

Report Chapter by Luis-Diego Barrot with Kirk Hamilton, Quentin Wodon, and Ali Yedan, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future”, World Bank Group, 2018

This chapter provides the first-ever set of comparable estimates of human capital wealth based on a time series of household surveys for a large number of countries over two decades, from 1995 to 2014. The estimates suggest that human capital accounts for the lion’s share of a country’s wealth, and typically a higher share in upper-middle-income and high-income countries than in poorer countries.

Management, Supervision, and Health Care: A Field Experiment (IZA Discussion Paper 10967)

NBER Working Paper 23749 by David Evans with Felipe Dunsch, Ezinne Eze-Ajoku, and Mario Macis, August 2017

However, little is known about how to increase managerial capital to generate persistent improvements in quality of health services delivery. We present results from a randomized field experiment in 80 primary health care centers (PHCs) in Nigeria to evaluate the effects of a health care management consulting intervention.

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa

Report by Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Robin Burgess, Markus Goldstein, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaimany, World Bank Group, July 2017

This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60% of the population are aged below twenty. Results show that four years post-intervention, adolescent girls in treated communities are 48% more likely to engage in income generating activities, an impact almost entirely driven by their greater engagement in self-employment. Teen pregnancy falls by 34%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 62%.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Scorecard

Cesar Calderon, Catalina CantA�, Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018

This paper provides a scorecard on infrastructure development in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decades along four sectors (telecommunications, electric power, transportation, and water and sanitation) and three dimensions (quantity, quality, and access).

Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment

Economic and trade effects of Albania’s trade agreements with CEFTA members

Jieun Choi with A. Minondo, Post-Communist Economies, 2019, Pages 1-13.

Since the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) was signed in 2006, Albanian exports to CEFTA member countries have increased four-fold. This paper finds that, depending on how the previous bilateral agreements with CEFTA countries are accounted for, the CEFTA increased Albanian exports between 34% and 144%. Additional regression analyses conclude that the CEFTA fostered exports through the reduction of tariffs.

Ride the Wild Surf: An Investigation of the Drivers of Surges In Capital Inflows

Cesar Calderon, Megumi Kubota, Journal of International Money and Finance, Volume 92, April 2019, Pages 112-136.

Capital flows into EMEs recovered faster than those flows in industrial economies as the world economy started to recover after the global financial crisis. This paper aims at understanding the drivers of these surges in gross inflows using quarterly data for 79 countries from 1975 to 2014. It finds that domestic and external drivers have a significant explanatory power in driving surges of inflows. Domestic factors appear to play a significantly larger role in explaining surges into EMEs.

The Effect of Remittances on the Current Account in Developing and Emerging Economies

Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, Economic Notes, April 2019.

There is a positive effect of remittances on the current account contemporaneously, but that the lagged effect is negative, which could be indicative of the existence of some underlying mechanisms characteristic of the Dutch disease phenomenon.”

Dutch Disease Resistance: Evidence from Indonesian Firms

James Cust, Torfinn Harding, and Pierre-Louis Vezina, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Accepted: May 2019

Oil and gas windfalls on average cause wages as well as firms’ labor productivity, output, and employment to increase, while product unit values and exit rates are unaffected. The least productive firms are more likely to exit and surviving low-productivity firms see relatively large expansions in output and labor productivity, while high-productivity firms see relatively high expansions in employment.

Market Size, Sunk Costs of Entry, and Transport Costs : An Empirical Evaluation of the Impact of Demand-Side Factors versus Supply-Side Factors on Manufacturing Productivity

Patricia Jones, Emmanuel Lartey, Taye Mengistae, Albert Zeufack, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, June 2019.

This paper estimates the effects of demand-side and supply-side factors on industrywide aggregate productivity. In the cinder-block industry the expansion of the local market boosts industrywide total factor revenue productivity, while increases in transport costs and licensing fees reduce it. The picture is somewhat mixed in the other 10 industries but broadly consistent with the predictions of the model.

Drivers of Gross Capital Inflows: Which Factors are More Important for Sub-Saharan Africa?

Cesar Calderon, Punam Chuhan-Pole, and Megumi Kubota. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2019.

Gross flows into Sub-Saharan African are predominantly influenced by external factors, such as foreign growth and uncertainty in global markets and policies. Capital flow behavior for Sub-Saharan African countries is different from that of industrial countries due to different economic structures, which render different transmission processes.

Bribes vs. Taxes: Market Structure and Incentives

Jieun Choi with F. Amodio, G. De Giorgi, and A.Rahmanm, on-going, IZA Discussion Paper No. 11668. 2018.

Firms in developing countries often avoid paying taxes by making informal payments to tax officials. Our study highlights the role of firm heterogeneity and market structure in shaping the relationship between firms and tax inspectors and provides clear evidence of pass-through of bribes to consumers.

Financial Development, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Growth Dynamics

Woubet Kassa, Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018.

Financial development exerts a positive influence on the relationship between exchange rate flexibility and GDP growth as well as total factor productivity growth. Discussions and decisions on exchange rate policy should be undertaken with consideration for structural policies that address the development of the financial sector.

Assessing Fiscal Space in Sub-Saharan Africa

Cesar Calderon, Punam Chuhan-Pole, Yirbehogre Modeste Some, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2018.

This paper presents new empirical evidence on how fiscal space in Sub-Saharan Africa has evolved over the past 15 years. The analysis finds that, breaking with history, Sub-Saharan African countries were able to conduct countercyclical policies amid the 200809 global financial crisis, thanks to built-up liquidity and policy buffers.

Teaching Personal Initiative Beats Traditional Business Training in Boosting Small Business in West Africa

Journal Article by Francisco Campos, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein, Leonardo Iacovone, Hillary C. Johnson, David McKenzie, Mona Mensmann, Science Vol 357, Issue 6357, September 2017

Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training.

Exchange Rate Flexibility and the Effect of Remittances on Economic Growth

Journal Article Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, Review of Development Economics, 21(1), 103125, 2017

This paper studies the question of whether exchange rate policy affects the impact of remittances on economic growth in recipient countries. The ?ndings indicate that more ?exible exchange rate regimes are associated with a greater increase in economic growth following an increase in remittances, but also that the impact of remittances on growth is positive under a ?xed regime.

FDI, Sectoral Output and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics Under Financial Openness

Journal Article by Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, Bulletin of Economic Research 69:4, 384-394, 2017

Based on data for a group of developing countries, the findings of this study suggest that an increase in FDI inflow could result in an expansion of the nontradable sector, which would be associated with a greater appreciation of the real exchange rate under a higher level of financial openness.

Selection, Firm Turnover, and Productivity Growth: Do Emerging Cities Speed up the Process?

Policy Research Working Paper 8291 by Albert G Zeufack with Patricia Jones and Taye Alemu Mengistae, World Bank Group, 2018

This paper identifies and estimates the impact of firm entry and exit on plant-level productivity in Ethiopia as part of a selection mechanism that might be driving aggregate productivity growth in cities.

Does Higher Openness Cause More Real Exchange Rate Volatility

Journal Article by Cesar Calderon with Megumi Kubota, Journal of International Economics 110: 176-204, 2018

This study investigates the factors driving RER volatility and the properties of both trade and financial openness to stabilize RERs. Therefore, this paper guides the formulation of better economic policies to lower RER variability. It tests whether the extent and composition of international trade and financial integration would smooth the impact of shocks to the RER for 82 countries from 1974 to 2013 and confirms empirically that the composition of trade and financial openness matters for RER stabilization.

Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Magnitude and Evolution

Policy Research Working Paper 8108 by Cesar Calderon, Punam Chuhan-Pole and Rafael M. Lopez-Monti, World Bank Group, June 2017. (Submitted to World Development)

Mirroring the pattern in other developing regions, the degree of cyclicality has changed since 2002 in Sub-Saharan Africa, with incipient signs of a shift toward acyclical or more countercyclical policies. The evidence does not suggest that resource wealth or fragility increases the procyclicality of government consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gross Capital Flows, Common Factors, and the Global Financial Cycle

Policy Research Working Paper No. 8354 by Luis-Diego Barrot with Luis Serven, World Bank Group, February 2018

This paper assesses the international comovement of gross capital inflows and outflows using a two-level factor model. Greater financial openness, deeper financial systems, and more rigid exchange rate regimes amplify countries’ exposure to the global financial cycle.

Gender and Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8245 by Shubha Chakravarty, Smita Das, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, November 2017

This paper discusses the specific barriers that youth face in accessing employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the ways in which young women’s employment is constrained above and beyond the constraints faced by male youth. The paper synthesizes the emerging lessons from a growing evidence base on interventions that aim to support young women’s employment, and identifies knowledge gaps and priority research questions for the future.

Governance and Women’s Economic and Political Participation: Power Inequalities, Formal Constraints and Norms

Report by Annamaria Milazzo, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, June 2017

This report reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of reforms addressing gender inequality and applied via formal law changes, focusing on micro-empirical studies that tackle this challenge. The evidence suggests that some reforms have been successful reducing inequalities. Power and norms can shift and sometimes temporary interventions can deliver long-term results. There are, however, enormous challenges posed by power inequalities and inherent social norms that are slow-moving.

Poverty & Equity

Measuring Women’s Agency

Policy Research Working Paper 8148 by Aletheia Donald, Gayatri Koolwal, Jeannie Annan, Kathryn Falb, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, July 2017

This paper examines the measurement of agency through the lens of how women arrive at different decisions, based on their own preferences and goals, and proposes a framework for the constructs needed to measure agency. Ultimately this will provide greater understanding of when and how women have the ability to influence their own lives, and those of their families and communities, across different spheres.

Soft Skills for Hard Constraints: Evidence from High-Achieving Female Farmers

Policy Research Working Paper 8095 by Joao Montalvao, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein,Talip Kilic, World Bank Group, June 2017

This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. The analysis finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.

Local communities can reap better benefits from mining if market and fiscal channels are strong

Journal Article by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen, GREAT Insights, July/August 2017

Evidence from the boom in large-scale gold mining in three countries in Africa suggests that mining communities experience on average positive, but limited welfare gains in the near term. The benefits that come from opening a mine (or mines) are mostly transmitted through the normal functioning of markets, primarily through labor and land.

Mining in Africa: Are Local Communities Better Off?

Report by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen and Christopher Land, Africa Development Forum Series, 2017

This study focuses on the local and regional impact of large-scale gold mining in Africa in the context of a mineral boom in the region since 2000. It contributes to filling a gap in the literature on the welfare effects of mineral resources, which, until now, has concentrated more on the national or macroeconomic impacts.

Measuring Women’s Agency

Policy Research Working Paper 8148 by Aletheia Donald, Gayatri Koolwal, Jeannie Annan, Kathryn Falb, Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group, July 2017

This paper examines the measurement of agency through the lens of how women arrive at different decisions, based on their own preferences and goals, and proposes a framework for the constructs needed to measure agency. Ultimately this will provide greater understanding of when and how women have the ability to influence their own lives, and those of their families and communities, across different spheres.

Soft Skills for Hard Constraints: Evidence from High-Achieving Female Farmers

Policy Research Working Paper 8095 by Joao Montalvao, Michael Frese, Markus Goldstein,Talip Kilic, World Bank Group, June 2017

This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. The analysis finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.

Social Protection & Jobs

Cash Transfers Increase Trust in Local Government

David Evans, Brian Holtemeyer, Katrina Kose World Development, Volume 114, February 2019, Pages 138-155

How does a locally-managed conditional cash transfer program impact trust in government? Exploiting the randomized introduction of a locally-managed transfer program in Tanzania in 2010, this paper found that cash transfers increased trust in local government.

Cash Transfers Increase Trust in Local Government

Policy Research Working Paper 8333 by David Evans with Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec), February 2018

How does a locally-managed conditional cash transfer program impact trust in government? This paper answers this question by exploiting the randomized introduction of a locally-managed transfer program in Tanzania in 2010, which included popular election of community management committees to run the program

Labor Market Discrimination and Sorting: Evidence from South Africa

Policy Research Working Paper 8180 by Martin Abel, World Bank Group, September 2017

This paper collects a unique data set of classified ads and exploits quasi-random variation in the applicant pool composition to test for hiring discrimination against immigrants in South Africa’s informal sector. Consistent with a tournament models in which immigrants are penalized, the analysis finds that foreigners and natives benefit from being pooled with foreign job seekers.

Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania

Journal Article by David Evans with Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec, World Bank Economic Review, April 2017

How do cash transfers, conditioned on health clinic visits and school attendance, impact health-related outcomes? Examining the 2010 randomized introduction of a program in Tanzania, this paper finds nuanced impacts. The study finds significant increases in take-up of health insurance and the likelihood of seeking treatment when ill.

Management, Supervision, and Health Care: A Field Experiment and IZA Discussion Paper 10967

NBER Working Paper 23749 by David Evans with Felipe Dunsch, Ezinne Eze-Ajoku, and Mario Macis, August 2017

However, little is known about how to increase managerial capital to generate persistent improvements in quality of health services delivery. We present results from a randomized field experiment in 80 primary health care centers (PHCs) in Nigeria to evaluate the effects of a health care management consulting intervention.

Formalization Without Certification? Experimental Evidence on Property Rights and Investment

Journal Article by Markus Goldstein, Kenneth Houngbedji, Florence Kondylis, Michael O’Sullivan, Harris Selod, Journal of Development Economics, 2017

This study finds that improved tenure security from program demarcation activities leads households to shift their investment decisions from subsistence crops to long-term and perennial cash crops. Moreover, as initial lower levels of tenure security amplify the impact of a marginal change in land rights, female-headed households respond to demarcation by closing the gender gap in fallowing, a key soil fertility investment.

Local communities can reap better benefits from mining if market and fiscal channels are strong

Journal Article by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen, GREAT Insights, July/August 2017

Evidence from the boom in large-scale gold mining in three countries in Africa suggests that mining communities experience on average positive, but limited welfare gains in the near term. The benefits that come from opening a mine (or mines) are mostly transmitted through the normal functioning of markets, primarily through labor and land.

Mining in Africa: Are Local Communities Better Off?

Report by Punam Chuhan-Pole with Andrew Dabalen and Christopher Land, Africa Development Forum Series, 2017

This study focuses on the local and regional impact of large-scale gold mining in Africa in the context of a mineral boom in the region since 2000. It contributes to filling a gap in the literature on the welfare effects of mineral resources, which, until now, has concentrated more on the national or macroeconomic impacts.

Cash Transfers Increase Trust in Local Government

Policy Research Working Paper 8333 by David Evans with Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec), February 2018

How does a locally-managed conditional cash transfer program impact trust in government? This paper answers this question by exploiting the randomized introduction of a locally-managed transfer program in Tanzania in 2010, which included popular election of community management committees to run the program

Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania (Working paper); (Summary blog post)

Journal Article by David Evans with Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec, World Bank Economic Review, April 2017

How do cash transfers, conditioned on health clinic visits and school attendance, impact health-related outcomes? Examining the 2010 randomized introduction of a program in Tanzania, this paper finds nuanced impacts. The study finds significant increases in take-up of health insurance and the likelihood of seeking treatment when ill.

Management, Supervision, and Health Care: A Field Experiment and IZA Discussion Paper 10967

NBER Working Paper 23749 by David Evans with Felipe Dunsch, Ezinne Eze-Ajoku, and Mario Macis, August 2017

However, little is known about how to increase managerial capital to generate persistent improvements in quality of health services delivery. We present results from a randomized field experiment in 80 primary health care centers (PHCs) in Nigeria to evaluate the effects of a health care management consulting intervention.

Gender and Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8250 by Michael O’Sullivan, World Bank Group, November 2017

Strengthening women’s ownership, control, and use of land, livestock, and savings assets matters for poverty and shared prosperity, as unequal property rights can lead to intrahousehold inequality in wealth. This paper examines the underlying constraints that potentially give rise to these inequalities, assesses the impact evaluation evidence on how to narrow existing gaps and boost welfare, and outlines a set of priority research and policy questions.

The Value of Reference Letters

Policy Research Working Paper 8266 by Martin Abel with Rulof Burger, Patrizio Piraino, November 2017

This paper shows that reference letters from former employers alleviate information asymmetries about workers’ skills and improve both match quality and equity in the labor market. A resume audit study finds that using a reference letter in the application increases callbacks by more than 60 percent, with women driving the effect.

Gender and Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8245 by Shubha Chakravarty, Smita Das, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, November 2017

This paper discusses the specific barriers that youth face in accessing employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the ways in which young women’s employment is constrained above and beyond the constraints faced by male youth. The paper synthesizes the emerging lessons from a growing evidence base on interventions that aim to support young women’s employment, and identifies knowledge gaps and priority research questions for the future.

Bridging the Intention-Behavior Gap?: The Effect of Plan-Making Prompts on Job Search and Employment

Policy Research Working Paper 8181 by Martin Abel, Rulof Burger, Eliana Carranza, Patrizio Piraino, World Bank Group, September 2017

In a field experiment with unemployed youths, participants who complete a detailed job search plan increase the number of job applications submitted (by 15 percent) but not the time spent searching, consistent with intention-behavior gaps observed at baseline. Job seekers in the plan-making group diversify their search strategy and use more formal search channels. This greater search efficiency and effectiveness translate into more job offers (30 percent) and employment (26 percent).

Labor Market Discrimination and Sorting: Evidence from South Africa

Policy Research Working Paper 8180 by Martin Abel, World Bank Group, September 2017

This paper collects a unique data set of classified ads and exploits quasi-random variation in the applicant pool composition to test for hiring discrimination against immigrants in South Africa’s informal sector. Consistent with a tournament models in which immigrants are penalized, the analysis finds that foreigners and natives benefit from being pooled with foreign job seekers.

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa

Report by Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Robin Burgess, Markus Goldstein, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaimany, World Bank Group, July 2017

This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60% of the population are aged below twenty. Results show that four years post-intervention, adolescent girls in treated communities are 48% more likely to engage in income generating activities, an impact almost entirely driven by their greater engagement in self-employment. Teen pregnancy falls by 34%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 62%.

Can Job Training Decrease Women’s Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental Evidence from Nigeria

Policy Research Working Paper 8141 by Kevin Croke, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, July 2017

Occupational segregation is a central contributor to the gap between male and female earnings worldwide. The paper examines the impacts of an information and communications technology training intervention that targeted university graduates in five major cities and found that training programs can help individuals overcome self-defeating biases that could hamper mobility and reduce efficiency in the labor market.

Social, Urban, Rural & Resilience

Selection, Firm Turnover, and Productivity Growth: Do Emerging Cities Speed up the Process?

Policy Research Working Paper 8291 by Albert G Zeufack with Patricia Jones and Taye Alemu Mengistae, World Bank Group, 2018

This paper identifies and estimates the impact of firm entry and exit on plant-level productivity in Ethiopia as part of a selection mechanism that might be driving aggregate productivity growth in cities.

Selection, Firm Turnover, and Productivity Growth: Do Emerging Cities Speed up the Process?

Policy Research Working Paper 8291 by Albert G Zeufack with Patricia Jones and Taye Alemu Mengistae, World Bank Group, 2018

This paper identifies and estimates the impact of firm entry and exit on plant-level productivity in Ethiopia as part of a selection mechanism that might be driving aggregate productivity growth in cities.

Gender and Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8250 by Michael O’Sullivan, World Bank Group, November 2017

Strengthening women’s ownership, control, and use of land, livestock, and savings assets matters for poverty and shared prosperity, as unequal property rights can lead to intrahousehold inequality in wealth. This paper examines the underlying constraints that potentially give rise to these inequalities, assesses the impact evaluation evidence on how to narrow existing gaps and boost welfare, and outlines a set of priority research and policy questions.

Gender and Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions

Policy Research Working Paper 8245 by Shubha Chakravarty, Smita Das, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, November 2017

This paper discusses the specific barriers that youth face in accessing employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the ways in which young women’s employment is constrained above and beyond the constraints faced by male youth. The paper synthesizes the emerging lessons from a growing evidence base on interventions that aim to support young women’s employment, and identifies knowledge gaps and priority research questions for the future.

Bridging the Intention-Behavior Gap?: The Effect of Plan-Making Prompts on Job Search and Employment

Policy Research Working Paper 8181 by Martin Abel, Rulof Burger, Eliana Carranza, Patrizio Piraino, World Bank Group, September 2017

In a field experiment with unemployed youths, participants who complete a detailed job search plan increase the number of job applications submitted (by 15 percent) but not the time spent searching, consistent with intention-behavior gaps observed at baseline. Job seekers in the plan-making group diversify their search strategy and use more formal search channels. This greater search efficiency and effectiveness translate into more job offers (30 percent) and employment (26 percent).

The Impact of Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services: Evidence from Ethiopia

Policy Research Working Paper 8169 by Niklas Buehren, Markus Goldstein, Ezequiel Molina, Julia Vaillant, World Bank Group, August 2017

The paper examines the impact of the Rural Capacity Building Project using panel data on 1,485 geographically dispersed households in project and control kebeles. The results show that the strengthening of extension services had a positive impact on economic participation in the household, land area cultivated, and adoption of marketable crops, suggesting that access to extension helped farmers switch to more commercial, market-oriented agriculture.

Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa

Report by Oriana Bandiera, Niklas Buehren, Robin Burgess, Markus Goldstein, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul and Munshi Sulaimany, World Bank Group, July 2017

This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60% of the population are aged below twenty. Results show that four years post-intervention, adolescent girls in treated communities are 48% more likely to engage in income generating activities, an impact almost entirely driven by their greater engagement in self-employment. Teen pregnancy falls by 34%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 62%.

Can Job Training Decrease Women’s Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental evidence from Nigeria

Policy Research Working Paper 8141 by Kevin Croke, Markus Goldstein, Alaka Holla, World Bank Group, July 2017

Occupational segregation is a central contributor to the gap between male and female earnings worldwide. The paper examines the impacts of an information and communications technology training intervention that targeted university graduates in five major cities and found that training programs can help individuals overcome self-defeating biases that could hamper mobility and reduce efficiency in the labor market.

Source: The World Bank